So, we turned thirty and somehow survived that
awful transition form the twenties into this new age where everything is supposed to make sense, right?
Guess what 30 came with?
A bun in the oven.
I had a hard time coming to terms with this awesome journey to motherhood – fleeting between the decision to terminate or keep the baby.
It has not been the best period of my 30’s – I was still getting used to the whole coming into my womanhood thing and then my carelessness led to this.
I say carelessness because, truth is, as much as it was an “accident” (and I am still convinced that “accident” should not exist in my vocabulary in this century), I knew that it could happen.
I was not on contraceptives (not anymore anyway) and I was at this weird point in my life that I felt like something needed to give… my career, my womb, my car…my bills… my relationship. At that point, I felt lost and seriously under achieved.
Now, imagine the feeling that came with the two very fucking bold lines on that stick that I peed on.
If I had felt lost before, I knew nothing.
I felt broken.
Broken because… how could I possibly let this happen?
I felt guilt and shame – which in some varying degrees I still carry around today, along with this basketball belly.
Guilt and shame because there was no proposal. There was no grand gesture of love and adoration from my baby daddy culminating with a ring on my finger before his seed was planted in my very fertile garden.
There was no walk down the aisle – the grand parade that proved to the judgmental world that our love was pure and just and right and acceptable.
These things that were supposed to validate my worth as a woman didn’t happen.
Instead, what happened when I was about 12 weeks pregnant was a hurried traditional ceremony to purify our shameful act.
I realized slowly as the days progressed that I would be carrying the physical evidence of this “shameful act” alone. I despised myself for it. I tried to hide the evidence by jogging and getting more serious about my Yoga and stretching – thinking perhaps as the baby grew, my body would be slow to respond. I spent many nights (me, the mature 30 year old with a steady job and her own apartment), crying into my pillow, mortified of what people would think of me.
Then another realization hit me – that we would have to move in together to consolidate finances and truthfully, I did not want to be alone though it all and hadn’t we purified our sin? From that hurried traditional ceremony, he was allowed to carry me on his back and rush me to his home, have me barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning up after him like the good wife I was expected to be.
This time I felt absolute rage – me, a highly educated woman, in this 21st century, a freakin’ Lawyer (who should definitely know better to say the least) had allowed herself to be “traditionally married” .
A traditionally married woman suffers the legal burden of non – recognition. She has no rights under law save what her gracious husband bestows upon her during the subsistence of their marriage – and the ugly truth about this is that being African, she may have to share with two or a million other co-wives. This is not the life I had envisioned for myself.
A life barred by the murky, nonsensical world of culture and tradition that has muffled and buried my voice and my rights because I
/we have to respect our elders and because a traditional ceremony is important to his family.
So, here I am, at 29 weeks, impatiently counting down the days to when the evidence of this sin I carry everyday turns into something everyone can rejoice about – because somehow, people forget that babies were once the pregnancies that they harshly wagged their tongues about.
Am I happy now?
Well, more settled into the journey. No going back anyway since “I chose life”.
I like feeling the baby’s movements and the special attention I get at Government offices.
I have accepted that my body is way ahead of me – my mind and heart and soul are yet to catch up with the reality and eventuality of things.
I have moments where I feel something – more of a familiarity and obligation with and to the bulge rather than that overwhelming sense of pride and unconditional love that mothers are supposed to feel.
I hope that changes.
Maybe at some point I will stop looking at the mirror with regret and shame and guilt.
Maybe I will eventually figure it all out.
Maybe one day I will be honored – maybe I will get that ring and that parade and maybe one day I will wake up and feel it was all worth it.
Right now, it’s one day at a time – burst of emotion after the other.